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A Loss In The Standings, A Win Overall

The SU women's basketball may have lost 65-59 to the UConn last night, but they served notice to the Huskies and the rest of the Big East that they will no longer go gentle into that good night.

In a front of the largest crowd in the history of SU women's basketball (4,421) which included a
veritable Syracuse Who's Who (Eric Devendorf, Donte Greene, John Desko, Bernie Fine, Taj Smith, Lazarus Sims, etc.) the women's team shot 48.5 percent in the first half and led by as many as nine. Unfortunately the shooting went cold in the second half and the #1 team in the country capitalized behind Maya Moore (13 points, 17 rebounds). The Huskies, who came into the game with the nation's best defense and was beating teams by an average of 41 points escaped in the truest sense.

Back to the crowd for a second, it was apparently quite a memorable one and not just for its numbers:

That mood within the Dome was aided and abetted by all kinds of people up there in the pews. Men and women, boys and girls, so many of whom waved supportive signs (when not seeking autographs from, chiefly, Eric Devendorf, who apparently has become a heartthrob on crutches). And, too, there were all those Donte Greenes and Taj Smiths and Jonny Flynns and Mike Williamses who were only too happy on this night to be among the howlers rather than the howlees.

Coach Hillsman was proud of his team, even if he didn't take too kindly to the concept of a moral victory:

"We don't believe in moral victories here. Never have and never will. But I will say I'm definitely proud of my kids and thought they played really hard."

On the other sideline was Geno Auriemma, who had already set the tone with Syracuse fans beforehand by referring to last night's game in the Dome as "about the dumbest thing I've ever seen." After seeing the crowd and the effect it had on his team, surely Geno was in a conciliatory mood post-game, right?

"If we struggled and they played lousy we would have won by 25," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "Even though we struggled, it was probably because Syracuse had a lot to do with it."

Wait, what? Oh, I get it. UConn is a much better team and unless they play horribly and Syracuse plays the game of their lives, UConn wins every time. Thanks for the kind words.

"In order for upsets to happen, the team that's supposed to win has to play bad, and the team that is trying to upset them have to play a perfect game almost, or a great game. And tonight it almost happened."

Okay, um...thanks?

"Syracuse played great, but they lost," Auriemma said. "If they play like that against 90 percent of the teams in the conference they won't lose."

Thanks again...kinda.
Can you imagine being Geno's kid? "You got a 92 on the spelling test, which isn't perfect. Not at all. But hopefully you'll do well in life."

Jameson over at CusaAdelphia didn't take too kindly to Geno's antics and
penned a love letter for him to take back to Storrs. He makes a really good point about how its okay for UConn to play in Hartford to build up their program but Syracuse is silly for wanting to play in the Dome:

Why does UCONN women's basketball play some of their games in Hartford away from the campus? Easy answer: to make the program look better by playing in a larger venue. You should be equally criticized for making it more difficult for your school's students to go to games by making them go to Hartford.

The Orange won't see the Huskies again during the regular season but if they do play by chance in the Big East Tournament, expect it to be an affair to remember. In the meantime, SU will look to rebound from the loss on Saturday at Villanova (11-5, 1-2)

AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)